MTN Group is seeking as many as three more strategic investors in addition to Mastercard for its fintech unit, which it values at $5.2-billion (R100-billion).
“We are open to selling up to a maximum of 30% of the fintech business,” MTN CEO Ralph Mupita said on Tuesday. “There might be three or maybe even four strategic partners within that.”
On Monday, MTN said it signed a memorandum of understanding with Mastercard for a strategic investment and will also use the payment network processor’s technology to offer more services.
Africa’s young, underbanked population is increasingly using mobile phones to bridge gaps in services. That’s opened a lucrative and fast-growing space in the fintech sector for wireless carriers. Much of the investment to date has been in mobile payment systems, with a wave of fast-growing start-ups such as Flutterwave and Interswitch emerging.
MTN is Africa’s largest wireless operator. It has 60 million users for its fintech unit, which currently offers basic services like cash-in/cash-out, according to Mupita.
“With mobile money and fintech services, you are able to leapfrog people from not having any financial services to using the phone to provide a lot of financial services,” Mupita said. — Loni Prinsloo and Francine Lacqua, (c) 2023 Bloomberg LP